UK’s indie TV sector now worth more than £3bn

An annual report published by Pact, the indie sector’s trade association, shows how the sector has grown year-on-year.

International earnings grew by 12% to £939million in 2013.  This now accounts for almost a third of the sector’s total value.  And revenues from domestic commissions are rising again following a flat period.

Pact says that over the past year it is clear that smaller companies are doing better, winning new commissions from Channel 4 and Channel 5.

“We must celebrate the success of our TV industry in the UK,” says John McVay,Chief Executive of Pact. “With decades of award winning programmes produced both here and around the world, UK television is yet again showing why it is one of the leading creative industries. International audiences want British TV productions – commissioners know they will get the highest quality of programming when they buy British.  This is a major business success story and it is testament to the talent in the UK’s indie production sector.”

Key findings in the 2014 census and survey include:

  • Overall revenues are up from £2.8billion in 2012 to £3billon in 2013.
  • International sales are now worth £939million – almost triple the value of international revenues in 2008.
  • UK primary commissioning of indie programming has grown by 8.4% year-on-year to £1.67billion – the highest figure in this bracket on record.
  • Profitability is stable overall with margins improved slightly in 2013.
  • The public service broadcasters’ spend dominates primary commissioning, but multichannel commissioning (£381m) is notable with 59% year-on-year growth.
  • A larger percentage of commissioners’ spend is on content from smaller and mid-sized production companies and a smaller percentage is spent on productions from the larger indies.
  • The largest indies (£70million+ turnover) saw a reduced percentage of spend on commissions from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5; Channel 4 and Channel 5 showed the most marked percentage of increased spend on indie productions from companies with a turnover of less than £25million.
  • Commissioning trends show factual entertainment is the most significant growth genre (up from 12% to 17%); drama is up to 31% while entertainment – down to 34% – remains the largest commissioned genre for indies.

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